Cannabis influencer eats, sleeps, breathes and lives Instagram
The word hashtag used to drive me nuts.
How dumb, I thought. What’s so great about Instagram and using hashtags? I didn’t have a clue about Instagram and didn’t really want to. I was content in my bubble, in my own world and perspective. I never planned on having an Instagram account, but I was very naive.
I was opening a head shop and had a friend who was doing cannabis modeling, she called it. I thought: What? Lol, really? That’s a thing? She was so excited to tell me that a joint paper company had asked her to take pictures with its product, and they gave her papers all the time!
There were other girls doing it, too. She showed me their profiles. Some had 22k, 30k, 50k followers. I couldn’t understand and still didn’t make any effort to get one of my own. But once I started that head shop, I thought it was time to start an IG account for the store.
At the time, my fiancé and I were co-owners of a 420 private lounge, which I named The Highv. That’s when I decided that my Highv needed a Queen Bee.
I started to wonder, what could I accomplish if I started an IG account? I was taking pictures of glass in my shop, posting it on the store page and starting to understand that hashtags are really important for marketing each picture or video posted. Each hashtag is direct, target marketing! That’s genius, I thought, not stupid!
Also, people really liked my pictures if I was in them. One night as my fiancé and I were eating dinner, we started talking about how if I took it seriously, I actually could build something from it, selling more glass from the store and promoting our 420 lounge.
I started my Instagram that spring, originally looking for Queen Bee as an available account name. Ha, ha! … Not a chance. I tried so many different ways to have Queenbee, but Qeenbee66 became my new identity.
After six months, my account was growing fast. I went from having 1,000 followers to 5,000 out of nowhere. It was exciting when Instagram introduced its “stories” feature, allowing followers to see what you do daily. I feel like that’s where I can be myself and show little clips of my personal life like my fiancé and kids.
Then Instagram started live viewing! I love entertaining people, so I started right away. Now, they didn’t go viral or anything but people tuned in, and soon I had a routine and an office where I did my lives from. That’s also when the right people started to watch … and I started making an impression. That’s when I started being profiled in articles about women in the cannabis industry published by Vice News, London Star and other websites. My following exploded, and I started to see my vision coming to life.
That all sounds fun and easy, but there have been days when I doubted everything about myself because of comments on a post or someone stalking my live and being a troll. I had to really love myself, regardless of what people would say. When social media becomes a source of stress, it’s not fun anymore.
Being an influencer requires daily interactions and responding to hundreds of messages a week, sometimes daily. I make sure I answer questions on products I have promoted or questions in general, interact on other influencers’ pages and check what’s going on in their lives, what’s trending and how other influencers’ pages are doing. (Yes, I creep on other girls’ pages — it’s work!)
My day is filled with updating my feed and staying on top of messages. I also have two business pages: my screen-printing business, @elevation.custom.apparel, and smoking-accessories store @thebeedynasty.
With help from two other women, I started @thehunnybeez to communicate with others in the industry ready to be a part of something bigger than selfies and slogans. I want to offer these ladies opportunities to have their own apparel lines, as well as access to selling glass and earning commission. I want them to achieve their goals and share their happiness and prosperity with the world.
Qeenbee was just an Instagram page when I started it, but every day I see it evolve. The gains are as high as I can envision. So I eat, sleep, breathe and live Instagram daily, confident that, in the very-near future, it will all be worth it.